Circular Economy Action Plan: making sustainability the norm

The European Commission has developed a new Circular Economy Action Plan with the hope to make sustainable products the norm in the EU.

The European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan as one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal.

The new Circular Economy Action Plan aims to make the European economy fit for a green future while also working towards ensuring consumers have the ‘right to repair’ goods.

Building on the European Commission’s first Circular Economy Action Plan in 2015, the new Circular Economy Action Plan focuses on the design and production for a circular economy, with the aim to ensure that vital resources are circulated within the EU economy for as long as possible.

In conjunction with this Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Commission has released their New Industrial Strategy for Europe. Within this New Industrial Strategy for Europe, the European Commission has outlined the need for further regulation within the sustainable battery industry. The strategy outlines that Europe “must move away from the age-old model of taking from the ground to make products, which we then use and throw away.”

“We only have one Planet Earth, and yet by 2050 we will be consuming as if we had three.”

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, commented: “To achieve climate-neutrality by 2050, to preserve our natural environment, and to strengthen our economic competitiveness, requires a fully circular economy.”

Timmermans continued: “Today, our economy is still mostly linear, with only 12% of secondary materials and resources being brought back into the economy. Many products break down too easily, cannot be reused, repaired or recycled, or are made for single use only.

“There is a huge potential to be exploited both for businesses and consumers. With today’s plan we launch action to transform the way products are made and empower consumers to make sustainable choices for their own benefit and that of the environment.”

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, highlighted: “We only have one Planet Earth, and yet by 2050 we will be consuming as if we had three. The new Plan will make circularity the mainstream in our lives and speed up the green transition of our economy.

“We offer decisive action to change the top of the sustainability chain – product design. Future-oriented actions will create business and job opportunities, give new rights to European consumers, harness innovation and digitalisation and, just like nature, make sure that nothing is wasted.”

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